Personal development

Ego is the enemy

Story category: Red teaming

Story tags: Self-development

Ego is the enemy and confidence is our friend. Ego makes us blind to our own short coming by using psychological mechanisms as defensive attribution (positive things we take responsibility for, negative things we blame on external factors) and blind spot bias (we see are blind to our own short coming or can excuse them while it is easy to see mistakes in others). The fear of loosing face often makes us ignore or excuse errors.


Interesting psychological research shows that when different groups of children get tests and they get praise in a different way, their ego will develop in different ways, effecting their behavior in different ways. Children that are praised for being smart tend to take less risk as they don’t want to compromise their self image and the image others have of them. When groups of children receive praise based on that they worked hard it motivates them to take more risk as their self image is build on “hard work” and they have less fear of failure as their image is not build on being smart but working hard.


Unfortunately we often confuse ego with confidence. Confidence and ego are different things, confusing them substitutes strength for an appearance of strength, and introduces an inability to reduce the weaknesses we have. Confidence is about a realistic view of your strengths and weaknesses and through that being confident in making choices and being open about the things you don’t do well. You can be very confident about something you are weak in; confident in the knowledge of that weakness and how to deal with it. There is no such thing in ego; ego ignores, protects self image and is frail.


This is why our journey on the road to be more social intelligent has ego vs confidence as topic to work on.


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